The fight against desert Locust infestation in some parts of Eastern Africa has received a boost following a pledge by the United States of America, to donate a whopping sum of $8M (£6m) to deal with the plague specifically in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Other countries experiencing the problem include South Sudan and Uganda.
The promise was made public by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Ethiopia Gedu Andargachew, in Addis Ababa. UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has earlier warned that the East African region could be on the verge of a food crisis if swarms of locusts devouring crops and pasture already numbering into hundreds of billions are not eliminated. The possibility of these destructing insect multiplying is a high thereby further threatening likelihood of impending food scarcity in the region
According to FAO the insects, which eat their own body weight in food every single day, are breeding very fast, and that their numbers could grow 500 times by June. It was also revealed that an average swarm can destroy crops sufficient to feed 2,500 people for a year, So far, efforts put in by government agencies in affected areas have not yielded significant results.
The UN body last week called on the international community to provide nearly $76m (£58m) to fund the spraying of the affected areas with insecticide.
Several million people in South Sudan, one of the affected countries are already facing hunger as the country struggles to emerge from a brutal civil war.